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SERVE supports educational improvement through its work in areas of greatest need. The knowledge we generate through our work is shared with you in this website. We offer information organized into eight topic areas, which are outlined below and linked to the topic area pages: Assessment, Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Research, Educator Quality, Expanded Learning Opportunities, Policy and Legislation, School and District Improvement, and Technology in Learning. These topics were chosen because they represent crucial components of pre-K–12 education, are important to implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, and reflect SERVE’s areas of work.

It is difficult to divide education into discrete areas because the entire endeavor is made up of so many interrelated parts and the whole is much greater than the sum of those parts. Certainly, most SERVE activities cross several of these topic areas. Nevertheless, to address the issues facing educators, it is necessary to identify major areas of focus and to understand how they interrelate. Each area needs to be operating effectively and in concert with the others.

The eight topic areas will address questions such as:

  • How can we use assessment not only to inform us about student progress but also to improve our instruction?
  • How can rich curriculum and instructional practices be employed to help students meet high standards?
  • What new information does research provide to us about effective practice?
  • Teachers and administrators are key to good practice, so how can we support them and ensure that they do the best job possible?
  • What additional support for preschoolers and struggling at-risk students will lead to better outcomes for them?
  • What can policymakers do to strengthen and support high-quality, effective educational practices?
  • What practices work best at the district level to improve schools?
  • How can technology strengthen and expand our capacity to help students learn?

SERVE’s website and the information in these eight topic areas provide some of the tools that SERVE has designed to help you answer these and many other questions.


In the last decade, states have implemented content standards, testing programs, and accountability mechanisms as primary tools for raising student achievement. This section of SERVE's website provides information on the following topics:

Curriculum and Instruction

With the advent of the No Child Left Behind (Act) and the emphasis on student mastery of content, high-quality professional development, and exemplary teaching, the need for research-based professional development activities, products, and resources in core content areas has never been greater. To respond to these needs, SERVE offers a range of curricular and instructional opportunities in:

Educational Research

The watchwords in education these days are "scientifically based research" and “"evidence-based practice." There is growing emphasis on using products and practices that have been validated through rigorous research. But what does rigorous research look like? In this section of SERVE's website, "scientifically based research" (SBR) is defined and how educators can determine the validity of research claims is explained.